Little Brother Eli
IT has been fun talking with…
the guys of Little Brother Eli. I ask about that name and whether there’s a story behind it. They discuss their new single, TOOTH, and whether there is more material coming; what their home of Oxford is like for music/gigs – the artists they all grew up around.
I was curious as to whether there were gigs coming up; if they get time to chill away from music; what they would tell new artists coming through; how they get that unique blend of Disco and Rock together; new talent worth seeking out – they end the interview with a great song choice.
Hi, guys. How are you? How has your week been?
Splendid, thanks! We’re still on a high from our single launch at The Wheatsheaf in Oxford - it was a sell-out.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourselves, please?
We’re a four-piece band from Oxford and we play Disco-Rock! We pride ourselves on our energetic live show - and we’ve just released our new single, TOOTH.
Can I ask where the band’s name, ‘Little Brother Eli,’ stems from?!
It comes from the Daniel Day Lewis film, There Will Be Blood – spoiler alert! Eli is one of the characters in the film, who meets a sad demise.
TOOTH is your latest single. What is the background of the song?
We haven’t released anything since our debut album in 2016 – we went back to the drawing board, creatively, and came out with TOOTH. It’s a pretty angry song with a sort of 16-bit computer game sound! It’s about anyone who is really grated by another human being.
Go check it out on Spotify.
Will there be more material later this year? Maybe an E.P.?
Absolutely. Two new singles are in the pipeline and we’re back in the studio at the end of March to record another song. We’re hoping to keep a steady stream of new music coming out over 2018.
Your style is stomping and danceable – a mix of Disco and Rock. Does this reflect the artists you grew up around? Who do you count as influences?
I think, when we started the band, we were mostly influenced by artists like Jack White, The Raconteurs and Led Zeppelin. However, we’ve really mixed it up with a lot of this time around. Everyone in the band has different tastes - from Rock to Hip-Hop to Beyoncé. We put our heads together to see what we could create.
Do you take a lot of inspiration from the modern climate? How do you think new music stacks up against the classics?
Definitely. Often, people look at the past with rose-tinted glasses: they forget about all the crap and remember the good stuff. There are tons of great artists out there at the moment - you just have to know where to look. Recently, we’ve been listening to a lot of Khrangbin in the car – go check ‘em out!
Oxford is your base. How busy is the city in terms of great new music? Are there opportunities for young bands?
I think Oxford is, probably, one of the best places to start out in music. We’ve got a heap of good venues like the Jericho Tavern and The Wheatsheaf, as well as open mic nights like Catweazle - where you can start out and develop.
Can we see you tour soon? What gigs do you have coming up?
Lots of gigs in the diary; so head over to littlebrothereli.com to check them out – most notably, Truck Festival.
Is the stage the environment you all prefer? Is it easy to describe the sensation and feeling you get when the crowd responds?
It’s just a real buzz playing live.
We’ve been doing it since 2013 and every gig is always a fun challenge. You’re either battling with yourself or the sound or the room, but it’s what we live for, really. However, we have been spending more and more time writing of late; so we’ve backed off a little with the gigging schedule.
IN THIS PHOTO: BIG TOOTH
Which new artists do you recommend we check out?
BIG TOOTH played one of our ‘Eli Nights’ at The Monarch in Camden recently. We loved their Prince-inspired funky riffs!
On 20th March, Waiting for Smith will be gracing the same stage with us – a much mellower Indie affair, but just as interesting.
IN THIS PHOTO: Waiting for Smith
What do you all hope to achieve, personally, in 2018?
To release loads of great-quality music, basically! We’ve got lots in the bag and we’re excited to share it.
Have you each got a favourite memory from your time in music – the one that sticks in the mind?
We played Common People Festival a couple of years ago. That was a real buzz. We’d been doing a lot of touring of our first album, Cold Tales, and were super-confident on stage. We went on to a full tent and nailed it - a great feeling!
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
I guess, just listen to advice and work really bloody hard. No one is going to put in the legwork for you; so really graft and don’t expect it to happen all at once.
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
Urm…not a lot of unwinding time. If we’re not doing the day-job, we’re often gigging, writing music or creating artwork. It’s hard when your hobby is also your career…
Finally, and for being good sports; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Check out Back Pocket by VULFPECK!
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